First a few shots from Chicago, and then. . . . today’s lunch in Texas!
Yesterday someone brought a beautiful English shorthaired cat on a leash to Botany Pond. The cat didn’t look like it enjoyed it at all: it was hunkered down and appeared frightened. And it certainly wasn’t walking as if it were used to a leash.
Scared cat is circled:
Then a quick trip to the harbor behind the Museum of Science and Industry where, I was told, there were mergansers. And there were: lots of them. Some were diving, though I can’t be arsed to either look up the species, see what they eat, or if the brown vs. black-and-white ducks represent a sexual dimorphism. Readers can answer these questions:
And a damn Canada goose, the bane of all waterways:
Then, on to Texas! The two-hour flight was uneventful, and we were even offered drinks and snacks (I refused). I rented a car at the Austin airport, and within an hour I was in the Barbecue Capital of Texas: the small town of Lockhart (population about 13,000). It boasts three of the best BBQ joints in the state (ergo in America): Kreuz Market, Smitty’s, and Black’s. I had to choose one, and since the last time I was here Black’s was the best, I returned. The other two places weren’t nearly as crowded today.
The exterior of Black’s, in this location since 1932.
The interior is austere, as is seemly for all good BBQ joints. You’re there to eat, not admire the view. You wait in line, first getting sides, then you encounter the Meat Guy and tell him what you want: brisket, sausages, or ribs. Drinks (sweet tea is essential) are on the side.
The “feminist” restrooms. “Women are always right.”
The meat guy slicing my brisket (I had two “moist”, or fatty, slices). Briskets are smoked in the rear.
My lunch: two slices of BBQ beef brisket (the speciality of Texas), a jalapeno-cheddar sausage, raw onion, pickles, black-eyed peas with green beans, potato salad, two slices of squishy white bread, a scoop of banana pudding with vanilla wafers (fantastic), and, of course, sweet tea.
Since I hadn’t eaten all day, this filled me up nicely.
The other two places in Lockhart. Kreuz Market (pronounced “Krites” with a long “i”) and Smitty’s.
I passed these places up as I plan on having only one big meal per day.
A poseur in town! Famous banana pudding my tuches!
The lovely old Lockhart city hall. This really is a classic small Texas town, with a central square on which converge small streets lined with local businesses:
I’m now digesting in nearby Luling, where I plan to go to the place where I had the best BBQ I remember in America: the City Market. Brisket is usually best without sauce, but they have an absolutely addictive sauce that puts their brisket over the top. I hope it’s as good as I remember.
I plan to go when it opens at 10 a.m., as BBQ is best right when taken off the smoker in the morning.